Keith and Linford don’t ride this week but rather travelled around with Charlee and Camilla. Some photos are posted below.
Meanwhile Dale continues to ride around Honshu Island as he returns to Osaka.
Many thanks to those that have donated.
Week 20 Summary: Dale’s Tour
Dale has been looping around Honshu Island and this week returns to Osaka from Yokohama via Mt Fuji. He then takes a train to Yokohama to rendezvous with everyone else for the Rugby World Cup Final: England vs South Africa.
This week: 334 miles, 19655 ft climbing and 30:06 hours riding
Japan totals: 792 miles, 48019 ft climbing and 68:07 hours riding
Dale Day 8: Sunday October 27th:
Dale didn’t ride today but stayed in Yokohama to watch the Rugby World Cup semi-final between Wales and South Africa: the Boks won 19-16.
Yesterday Dale watched England vs New Zealand in the other semi-final. England stuffed the All Blacks 19-7.
Dale also saw the Wales vs South Africa semi-final, but its wasn’t such a great game.
Dale Day 9: Monday October 28th:
I’m back on the road again after two days watching the Rugby semi-finals. I went to both games: Saturday’s was excellent, a great game from an England perspective but unfortunately the Sunday game was a bit of a damp squid and never really got going with South Africa running out the eventual winners,
I met the guys running Ron Rutland’s press releases (him and a guy called James cycled from Wales to Japan, they have loads of sponsors and even brought the whistle out for the first game) one of their main sponsors is DHL, so it looks like we will be able to get DHL to ship our bikes back for us. I’m awaiting confirmation but he seemed very positive.
My plan is to now cycle back to Osaka taking the eastern route this time. Starting with todays ride with a potential view of Mount Fuji if the weather is favourable. In the morning we had clear blue skies so it’s looking good, though it can change in the mountains very quickly.
I was climbing all morning up to around 2000m on really good roads with very little traffic. It was quite pleasant with nice views of Lake Yamanakao, the Doshi river and the mountains Yakiyama Omuro, Komotsurushi and Mikuni. It was a stunning section of road across the top of the mountains athough the cloud came down on the western side making it impossible to see Mt Fuji; fate and all that but still a really nice ride with a lovely descent before the final climb of the day.
A good day in the saddle and I needed it after two heavy days watching the rugby!
Dale Day 10: Tuesday October 29th:
Here we go again woke up to the sound of rain pelting against the windows; happy days! At least it is not cold and I only planned to do 70 odd miles. Still it’s really not nice going out in the pouring rain. It’s a bit different when you get caught up in the rain as you have very little choice but to carry on. However I have to move on to get back to Oaska and sort out getting my bike home [Steve’s frame though: Ed], then build myself up for the final; surely nothing can go wrong.
So I hit the road with a steady downpour. I just keep smiling as it’ll all be worth it when England bring home the Webb Ellis trophy (so I kept saying to myself).
All I can say is the rain never stopped all day, in fact it got worse, so I did not stop for lunch and just powered through. I arrived at the hotel around 13:30 but the girl on the front desk said my room would not be ready until 15:00 but I soon sorted that out and gave her my best sad face whilst dripping water all over the place. I think they were well please when they got me a room straight away.
No pictures today as everything was to wet and you could not see anything anyway. The good news is that it is meant to be a little brighter tomorrow. I hope so.
Dale Day 11: Wednesday October 30th:
I woke to a lovely sunny morning so different from yesterday. Once I got out the road my Garmin started to play up. I think it was operator error last night when I downloaded the ma. It was sending me all over the place for the first 10 or so miles as think I had set it on Mountain bike trails by mistake.
So I kept the Garmin running but reverted to MapsMe. This does eat up the battery on my phone but I had a couple of battery packs with me so it should be OK.
This route took me along the shores of Lake Hamana, a very tourist place with hotels doted along the shore and all sorts of trails to follow. I was glad I was not following my Garmin now as I would have been in forest for sure. I had a lovely 20 or so miles along the lake, quite flat and really sunny.
Then it was a nice steady climb up into the forest where I stopped for a little bite to eat at the top of third climb where I prepared some stuff for a radio interview later in the evening.
Dale Day 12: Thursday October 31st:
It’s my penultimate riding day in Japan and another sunny day. I hope it’s the same for Keith & Linford who are visiting Mt Fuji today.
I knew my ride today was going to be through busy towns and cities so I had a few different plans for the day just to see how it plans out. The first part of the ride along national road 23 was not too bad but it ran adjacent to E1A which was really busy and anyway cyclists are not allowed on them. I stayed on the 23 for around 35 miles on pretty good cycle paths across loads of bridges and heavy engineering works.
I’d had enough of stopping and starting now so plan B came into operation. So just after the city of Yokkaichi I turned off onto the minor roads using downloaded google map. It was so much better getting away from all the traffic and before I knew it I was out in the countryside where I belong past forest campsites and warning notices about the monkeys which I didn’t this time.
I then took a single line paved track up to the top which was really good riding. I only met one other car coming down and he looked like a forestry guy. I had a bite to eat at the top and a drink in a picnic site. Then it was back on the bike for the down-hill ride into Otacho. Well as in the UK it’s never all downhill in Japan with their rolling roads, but nevertheless it was a really nice ride today the first part in typical Japanese cities and town and the second part in their fabulous unspoiled country-side. Quite a contrast between the two.
Dale Day 13: Friday November 1st: Last Day on the Road
It’s my last days cycling in Japan; it has been a wonderful experience they are really nice people and their manners are amazing. The food’s not really to my taste but vegetable ramin is pretty good, when it’s available,
I woke up to a really foggy morning but the girl on reception assured me it would all clear shortly so sat and had an extra coffee and cake with her and sure enough the fog cleared. Just as I was about to leave Keith contacted me about ticket prices for the final. I said do it mate from our joint account so I left with a spring in my pedals thinking, “we have only gone and done it! cycled here and get to watch the final, nothing can go wrong”.
But my navigation was wayward for bit as at 2 miles I got a bit confused but managed to get back on track in the end,. Then it all went a bit pear shaped at 15 miles in; there was a massive mudslide so I could not pass the road but the guy sent me down this little track. Mate is was rough, good old planning, bhut even that was un-passable at the end so I backed up and went on the road. It was really nice scenery and the guys working on the mudslide offered to give me a lift, I just smiled and told them I had World Cup final tickets so no problem. I’m not sure they understood a word.
After that it was a surprisingly pleasant ride into the outskirts of Osaka and then I hit highway number 1, which you are not allowed to cycle on, but as I stopped and tried to look intelligent looking at electronic maps, a really nice guy said there is a cycle path adjacent to the highway, he drove his car up to show me, nice guy, so a relatively easy ride into the city.
I booked into the hotel had a quick shower then went out to sort the bike packaging. Then I had tickets to Yokohama for tomorrow to sort out.
It was a great tour of Honshu Island, with really pleasant people and all a credit to the nation.
Keith & Charlee
These two did some travelling around. Sadly the hike up Mt Fuji was called off – bad visibility. But they did have a great days rafting on the Yoshino river.
Dale Day 14: Saturday November 2nd: World Cup Final
[Dale, Keith, Linford, Charlee and Camilla are all going to the Rugby World Cup final: England vs South Africa. Hopefully we’ll get some photos: Ed]
All the Details of the Japan rides
Overland To India
See how Ben and Jess are getting on as they take a more southern route across Asia to India. You can catch up with them here. An excerpt is below.
After riding 6000 miles they are now in Almaty, Kazakhstan and will have a two week break here before flying to India.